LOWELL, MA---Jess Merchant's two-run shot in the bottom of the sixth inning lifted the New England Riptide to a 3-2 come from behind victory over the New York
Juggernaut at Martin Softball Field last night. Down 2-1 after allowing a routine
fly ball to drop after no one called for it, the inning started with a walk to Kellie Wilkerson immediately followed by Merchant's homerun, her third of the year.
Juggernaut starter Amanda Scott then struck out Sarah Andersen looking and was
replaced by Jodie Cox who finished the last 2/3 inning.
For the Riptide, Jocelyn Forest pitched a complete game and was masterful mixing drops, changeups and screw balls, keeping the Nauts guessing all night. Forest struck out 12 while allowing three hits and two runs. The run in the sixth was a result of Natasha Watley beating out an infield ground ball, stealing second and coming home on Ryan's Realmuto's outfield popup that fell in. The Juggernaut took a 1-0 lead in the third when Kim Ogee doubled to left center, the ball being cut off by Jen Scavone, but Ogee beating the throw to second. Ogee advanced on an infield out and came home on Carri Leto's sac fly to right.
The Tide got it right back in the bottom of the inning on two hits, both doubles, by
Ashley Moore to lead off and Wilkerson with two out.
The two teams play the rubber match of the five game series Saturday night at 7:05 at Martin Softball Field. Pitchers are expected to be Danielle Henderson for the Tide and Peaches James for the Nauts. It will be the season finale and the last chance to see the Riptide until next year as they wind up their second season of play. It will be Couples Night--bring your significant other and purchase tickets 2 for $12.